How to Harvest Rainwater

The image often associated with harvesting rainwater is a barrel under the gutter downspout. High-quality rainwater barrels cost about $100 and include a spigot to fill watering cans or attach a hose. Crafty homeowners can build their own barrels or customize a large garbage can or plastic drum. Another way to divert water from roofing gutters may involve a professional landscape designer. Rain gardens look like sunken rivers or lakes of plants. The garden should be at least three inches below the main level of the yard, mulched and scattered with native plants.

To keep water from building up around the foundation of the home, dig out a channel at least one foot long to the rain garden area or develop the whole rain garden as a river-like trench. Ambitious gardeners also can harvest rainwater that is already falling on the yard. A series of crescent-shaped depressions will catch runoff so it can seep into the ground and feed nearby plants. The removed soil can form small berms behind the depressions.